The first carbon-negative, zero-waste, energy self-sufficient homes in the UK




The Arbour, London



The first carbon-negative, zero-waste, energy self-sufficient homes in the UK

5mm Alba panels for the bathroom application

The design

Applying the principles of circular economy, GS8 started the process by reusing the would-be waste of eight deconstructed buildings. Bricks and blocks were used for the new development’s foundations; soil was transformed into over 35,000 ‘earth bricks’, and made into lighting, and furniture; and steel purlins formed part of the new roofs.

In another pioneering move, The Arbour has been designed to reduce the energy demand of each home – they are operationally carbon negative. This means residents should have little to no energy bills.

Interiors and exteriors

And tying into GS8’s dedication to nurturing communities, a communal garden has been included within the scheme, with vegetable patches and an outdoor kitchen encouraging self-sufficiency and resident collaboration.

For the interiors, GS8 appointed Rockett St George, who were tasked with sourcing materials in-line with the zero waste credentials of the scheme. For the bathrooms, our Alba material, made from repurposed yoghurt pots was just the ticket. Featured as a subtle yet eye-catching backsplash, glints of gold and silver foil from the yoghurt pots’ original life ensured a characterful companion to the matt black taps and geometric gloss sink combination.

The communal garden, with vegetable patches and an outdoor kitchen

What goes around, comes around

“When we were asked to supply our Alba material to The Arbour project by GS8 we jumped at the chance. For us, circularity is imperative, not just for the future of our built environment, but for our future in general. Projects such as this highlight what can be achieved with dedicated focus, and collaboration. And we truly hope this is the catalyst for many more planet-positive housing schemes.”— Smile Plastics co founder, Rosalie McMillan